Art + Design

Artist Feature // 5 Questions for Terri Dilling

Terri is an Atlanta-based artist, interested in the beauty and complexity of the natural world.

Terri is an Atlanta-based artist, interested in the beauty and complexity of the natural world, especially its structures, patterns and cycles. She uses gestural marks and organic forms to refer to the physical and emotional landscapes we interact with. Her work has energy and movement, yet also maintains a sense of balance. She is passionate about the transformation that occurs during the progress of creation.

Meet Terri!

5 Questions for Terri Dilling

1) What is your favorite kind of work to do at the moment?

Recently I have been painting larger sized paintings, 4 – 5 feet and up, often working over some older less successful ones. My focus is abstract painting that inspired by nature and landscape. It is is not about depicting a specific place, but about a metaphor of being in the world, of being alive. I am interested in using expressive marks and color relationships to create a mood or feeling. I want to create a calming visual space that also has some energetic marks and pops of contrast to keep it interesting. For me, it is a way to stay balanced in this crazy world. For the viewer, I hope my paintings are something you can look at for a long time and always see something new.

2) What kinds of things inspire you?

I often say I am inspired by nature, but if I get more specific, I am really drawn to flowers, clouds in the sky, and water. These things are ephemeral, taking form for a brief beautiful moment, and then fading away or transforming into something else. It is beauty with a hint of change or loss. That really gets to me emotionally, and is something I want to capture in my art.

3) Who else do you admire in the art space?

Like many other abstract painters, I love love love the work of Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler. Also Cy Twombly and Terry Winters. Perhaps not as well known here in the U.S. is Danish artist Per Kirkeby, who created some amazing and powerful abstract landscapes. I also love traditional Asian landscapes with their sense of openness and airiness. All of these have been an influence on my work.

4) Coolest possession?

One of my coolest possessions is an old bar cart from Delta Airlines, the ones that flight attendants roll down to aisle to serve beverages. I originally planned to use it in my studio to hold art supplies, but my husband and I liked it so much that we ended up keeping it in our house to use it as a bar. We don’t really roll it around to serve drinks, but perhaps we should!

5) Favorite quote or words to live by?

This art quote really captures the idea that art enables us to see and experience things in a different way:

“Looking, making, thinking, experiencing are our starting point.  Art opens worlds, lets us see invisible things, creates new models for thinking, invents cosmologies, explores consciousness, makes mental maps and taxonomies others can see, and isn’t only something to look at but is something that does things and sometimes makes the mysterious magic of the world palpable.” —Jerry Saltz, art critic

One of my favorite quotes to live by:

“Be the person your dog thinks you are.”

To see more work:

Follow Terri on Instagram, or visit her site for more!

I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week!

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